Research at FHS

Researcher Resources

Researching during COVID-19

At this time, FHS is unable to consider in-person research requests or on-site researcher visits. However, staff are currently fielding questions and inquiries by email or phone. Please contact us [link to Contact Us page or email link to Collection’s Manager email] with your question or request. We would love to hear what you’re working on or interested in and how the FHS archives and collections can be of use during this extraordinary time!

Freeport Historical Society collects materials and artifacts related to the history of Freeport dating from the late 18th century to the present. Among the items which we actively collect are objects, paintings, books, manuscripts, diaries, letters, account books, cemetery records, maps, postcards, ephemera, photographs, and various media formats. All of these are organized, cataloged and available for research.

Access to the FHS archives for research is provided on an hourly basis. An initial 15-minute period of research assistance is provided free of charge. Subsequent time is billed at $25.00 per hour or part thereof, payable in advance. Researchers may find that membership in FHS (which includes 1 hour of paid research annually) is an economical investment. Photocopies are twenty cents each plus postage. Postage and handling will be charged at cost if materials are mailed.

Research services can be paid for by check or cash.

 

So that we can provide the best service to you and given our volume of work, we require appointments to conduct research.

Research requests may be made in person (45 Main Street, Freeport, ME), but initial contact via phone (207-865-3170) or email is requested before you stop by so that our Collections Manager may research and gather information pertaining to your request. Be certain to include contact information and detailed information on your topic/subject matter of your research. Our Collections Manager will be in touch with you as soon as possible to set-up an appointment and/or discuss next steps.

 

A note on early records

When searching for resources about early Freeport history, be aware that Freeport was originally part of North Yarmouth, Massachusetts Bay Colony. This North Yarmouth proprietary, which we now call ancient North Yarmouth in order to distinguish it from the present-day town of North Yarmouth, encompassed a large geographic area and was chartered in 1681. Because of the long distances to the only meeting house (located at Route 88 and Gilman Rd. in Yarmouth), remote settlements petitioned to be set off and incorporated as separate towns. These towns are Mere Point (1739), Small Point (1741), Harpswell (1758), Freeport (1789), Pownal (1808), and Cumberland (1821). The final split between Yarmouth and North Yarmouth occurred in 1849. Thus, early records for each of these towns will be found in more than one location. For example, official records for Freeport from its first settlement until its separation in 1789 will be included with the Town of North Yarmouth records.

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PETTENGILL FARM: Grounds are open year round, dawn to dusk. House is open by appointment.

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